"Essie The Blues Lady" Comes to UACCM For Free Concert

Essie Neal, better known as “Essie the Blues Lady,” will present a free blues concert on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm in the Fine Arts Auditorium on campus at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. The concert, part of the college’s Black History Month tribute, will be open to the public and free of charge.
Neal performs frequently in festivals, schools, and numerous venues across Arkansas. Born to a musical family in and raised in central Arkansas, she learned to play the guitar at twelve years of age. Neal says “When the chores were done and the sun set in the evening, it was music time.” Her father played several instruments and her mother sang while she and her sisters and brothers would listen for hours. Determined to learn to play, Neal started picking her dad’s guitar when he was at work. She formed an all-female blues band, “Queen Bee and the Soul Seekers” in the 1970’s and toured Arkansas and surrounding states. Through the years, she has played throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri, and she now performs as a solo act. Her performances showcase a great variety of blues styles and tunes, including her own compositions. Neal believes that blues music provides ways to build social skills, confidence, and coping skills in a world inundated with negativity. In 2008, Neal was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, where she stands alongside dozens of influential blues performers. She was recently quoted as saying "I was born into the blues, I was raised on the blues, and I'm a product of the blues."

For more information on this or any other community event sponsored throughout the year by UACCM, including an upcoming visit from a Holocaust survivor, contact Jacob Ward at (501) 977-2142 or at ward@uaccm.edu.

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